My little brother Nathan and i have always enjoyed skating and just hanging out together. Its been funny watching him grow up over the past few years, especially as i have been living in Europe and our only contact is through the internet. Hearing about his cheeky drunken university adventures or just his general thoughts about the world through skype conversations is always good fun and makes me miss home.
I was lucky enough to be able to finally do a road trip with him over the holiday period while i was in Australia. Every year in Australia since i was 20 my friends and I would pack the cars up and leave Sydney and just head North along the coast camping and crashing peoples floors, skateboarding, exploring some nature and getting drunk around a bonfire. Unfortunately over the years the crew has dwindled down, a few weeks before this trip it looked like there was going to be about 4 car loads of people, but in the end in was just me and the little bro.
First stop was Woolgoolga for a standard visit to the elephants and to enjoy the free roadside coffee and biscuits provided by volunteers to encourage holiday drivers to take a rest from driving and in doing so reduce road casualties. We then charged up to Ballina and met up with Scotty and went for a skate at this secret mini ramp deep down on a friends farm. It was new years eve so we enjoyed a cold refreshing larger and rode horses around.
Byron Bay for NYE celebrations and it was the most relaxed one i have been to there in regards to police trying to shut down the party. The beach was swarming with thousands of people armed with liquor and smiles. An old friend from Sydney Eric was legendary enough to let us crash at his place for a couple nights. Thanks buddy! Funnily enough i ran into him 1 month later as i was on my way to Tasmania, i was actually boarding the plane that he just got off!
The new skatepark at Nimbin was next on our hit list, although on the way our GPS guided us to a dead end street. When we were doing a u-turn i noticed there was a little ditch, we got out with boards in hand and continued up and found a little skateable section. We ended up spending couple of hours bashing through the bush covered ditch.
Nimbin skatepark is truly one of the most amazing parks i have ever skated!!!! I didnt take any photos because we were to busy having a good time. We buzzed around that bad boy for hours stocked up and headed up into the hills to Minyon Falls to camp the night. Along the way i bashed the horn and it got stuck on . . . BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPP . . . an old farmer came down from his house and as we fiddled around trying to find which fuse to pull out to silence the horn farmer joe began beating the steering wheel with a closed fist and somehow it worked. With his chest puffed out and a satisfied grin he belched out 'thats how you do it boys' and walked off into the distance with a beer in one hand, Nathan and I sat there for a minute pissing out pants with laughter.
I had been telling Nathan about the Minyon falls waterfall trek for years and finally i got to take him down there. The Australian rain forest is so amazing and can change so quickly. As you descend on this walks the trees, temperature and animals changed quite vastly and you are rewarded in the end with a huge waterhole to swim in with a powerful waterfall shower.
That evening we drove through some low-lying stereotypical Australian sugar cane country and we were lucky enough to stumble by this really old abandoned house. The following morning we woke up next to a golf course in Bellingen, and the morning ritual when I camp is to get into some kind of water first thing wether it be a river, lake, ocean or water fountain. Fortunately Bellingen has a beautiful big river that runs straight through the city and there is a really fun little skatepark right on its banks. Unfortunately about 3 weeks after this trip the banks of the river were engulfed by flood waters and i guess were we were sleeping and the whole skatepark must have been meters under water!
Look forward to doing another trip with you at the end of the year Nathman!